Page:Henry Adams' History of the United States Vol. 3.djvu/37

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1805.
25
MONROE'S DIPLOMACY.

who had never ceased to urge that nothing could be done with the Spanish government except through fear or force. He could not refuse discussion, but he entered into it with the intention of promptly cutting it short. [1]

To cut the discussion short was precisely what Cevallos meant should not be done; and a contest began, in which the Spaniard had every advantage. Monroe replied to the Spanish note of January 31 by imposing an ultimatum at once. [2] "We consider it our duty to inform your Excellency that we cannot consent to any arrangement which does not provide for the whole subject" of the claims, including the French spoliations. "It is in his Majesty's power, by the answer which you give, to fix at once the relations which are to subsist in future between the two nations." Cevallos, leaving the ultimatum and the French spoliations unnoticed, rejoined by discussing the conditions which the King had placed on his consent to ratify the claims convention of 1802. [3] Taking up first the Mobile Act, he expressed in strong terms his opinion of it, and of the explanation given to it by the President. Nevertheless, he withdrew his demand that the Act should be annulled. The King's "well-founded motives of complaint in respect to that

  1. Monroe and Pinckney to Madison, May 23, 1805; State Papers, ii. 667.
  2. Pinckney and Monroe to Cevallos, Feb. 5, 1805; State Papers, ii. 640.
  3. Cevallos to Monroe and Pinckney, Feb. 10, 1805; State Papers, ii. 541.